When the F1 Singapore Grand Prix season comes around, there is hardly time for long-drawn meals. With parties to get to and races to catch, grazing your way through an 11-course affair just doesn't seem like time well spent. But it's imperative to dine well — and we won't book into a restaurant just because it affords a view of the track. So we've rounded up some of the finest restaurants the city has to offer, a Buro-esque edit of restaurants that serve up inspired plates by chefs that are militant about the quality of food they send down the pass. These dishes are illuminated by a sense of place unique to each restaurant, and we can't quite put a finger on why certain restaurants glow with a warm, buzzy energy — but when they do, magic happens and great meals transpire.
20 Teck Lim Road. Tel: 6224 3933
It's notoriously hard to get into and they don't take reservations, but that shouldn't stop you from endeavouring to snag a seat. Persevere and your efforts will pay off. With executive chef Dave Pynt presiding over the joint's hand-cranked elevation grills and custom-built ovens, you'll find nothing but top-notch produce masterfully put through a baptism of fire. But it's no backyard barbecue fare. Fennel, beautifully wilted and charred in the right places, is paired with burrata and orange oil, while the onglet with burnt onions and bone marrow is consistently good. If your cholesterol levels allow for it, call for the smoked quail eggs — now topped with morsels of caviar.
#01-01, 110 Amoy Street. Tel: 6221 5564
Glen and Daniel Ballis, the father-and-son team behind Moosehead, have opened a charming little restaurant sequestered in the alleyways, and no — it isn't named after a girl that got away. Rather, Maggie Joan's is an amalgamation of the names of Daniel's grandmothers. Unlike the INKA grill-fuelled gospel of Moosehead, the food here takes on a more contemporary spin underscored by Mediterranean accents. Head Chef Oliver Hyde, formerly of Pollen, helms the kitchen, turning out dishes the likes of roast Jerusalem artichoke and manchego, as well as smoked quail (as seen below) paired with the very ingredients you'll find in a waldorf salad — sans the leaves.
#L2-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Tel: 6688 7299
Chef David Thompson might hail from down under but his encyclopedic knowledge of Thai food — be it street food or royal fare — will put any scholar to shame. Are we surprised that Nahm, his fine-dining outfit in Bangkok, clinched top honours at San Pellegrino's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards last year? Not quite. We're thrilled that he's opened a restaurant right here in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands. Here, Thai street food is the name of the game. Thompson isn't one to serve up watered-down renditions of dishes from the Thai gastronomical canon. As with the food we tried at Nahm, the dishes at Long Chim are unapologetically bold and fiery where it needs to be, and hits all the right measures of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. For the Formula 1 season, Thompson has prepared an SG Grand Prix 2015 set menu that pulls together such dishes as Chiang Mai chicken relish and sour orange curry with fish and water mimosa.
Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House (The Heeren)
#03-02, 260 Orchard Road. Tel: 6733 4813
Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House at Gemmill Lane might be light and bright, but its sister outlet at The Heeren is anything but. After you bash through the women's wear section at Robinsons, you stumble into Luke's only to find yourself in a whole other world — a world Patrick Bateman and Mia Wallace would approve of. A handsome marble bar runs the length of the main dining area while strategically placed downlights cosy up the space. An excellent selection of oysters, sourced by chef-owner Travis Masiero, come freshly shucked while generous portions of crab cakes let you indulge in the crustacean without having to lift a finger to deshell them. USDA prime ribeyes weigh in at a hefty 400 grams — perfect for sharing between two if you're ordering an array of sides. Save space for the lobster mac & cheese (yes, it exists), the excellent key lime pie, and warm chocolate chip cookie served with a glass of stout milkshake.